Tag Archives: preparation

Celebrating His Coming: Thoughts for the 2nd Week of Advent

Welcome to the second week of Advent!

Tradition holds that the second week of Advent is about preparing ourselves for the coming Messiah, with John the Baptizer being our model. This is when our focus turns from the promises to fulfillment of Messiah. Obviously, there is a connection between each week, as we begin by looking out our need for the promised Savior, and then we move to finding the truth of the living Savior.

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. -Isaiah 40:3, KJV (see Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:3, Luke 3:4)

John was prophesied centuries before either he or his cousin, Jesus, lived. John is also the final of the Old Testament Prophets. He was the last to prophecy the coming Messiah before Jesus began His ministry.

He was an ascetic – someone who separates from society in many ways through denying comforts and desires, including diet and habits, for religious purposes. (See Numbers 6 to understand more of John’s asceticism, known as the Nazirite vow.) He seemed pretty crazy and weird, but he laid the groundwork for the Messiah.

What did this mean?

He called out sin, decried fame, and [literally] pointed to the Lamb of God, the Messiah.

As Christians – believers in the life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus – we are likewise called to point to the Savior. We are to prepare the the way for His return and encroaching Kingdom.

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
-Matthew 28:18-20

How are you pointing others to Jesus?

Good Lord, give us a passion for sharing the Good News of Jesus – to call out sin, love people, and glorify Your Name.

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Ready and Willing

Proverbs 31:17

17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. (KJV)
17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. (NIV)

Not Lazy and Ready

As we continue looking at the noble wife (or any woman, really), we see that she is not lazy.

She girdeth her loins with strength …” or “She sets about her work vigorously …I”
She prepares herself for what she must do each day, and she does not wait to get started.

… and strengtheneth her arms” or “her arms are strong for her tasks.
She can do what she needs to do because she has prepared herself. She is ready for surprises because she can handle them.

It takes a level of excitement and a lot of love to prepare yourself and take care of your family and friends. This is the crux of the matter.

Ready and Willing

Jesus prepared the way for His Bride to succeed, as well. Through His ministry, death, and resurrection, Jesus set the stage for the Church with love and a level of excitement.

As the Church, we must make sure we are prepared and strong. This takes regular time reading the Bible, in prayer, and talking with our brothers and sisters in Christ. This opens our hearts and minds to the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ in us, to fulfill our tasks and be ready for anything.

May our love for Christ compel us to be prepared and strong. Then we are better prepared for and stronger in our other relationships, including as husband and wife.

Great Lord and Loving Friend, thank You for preparing and strengthening us. Help us to trust in Your wisdom and strength, and may we continually seek more strength and wisdom.


Prior Planning and Preparation

Proverbs 24:27 

Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.
Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house. (NIV)

photoA very good friend of mine is building his retirement home at the moment. I have to admit that Frank has certain advantages as a trained carpenter who has worked in construction all his life. He also has experience, having built his first house forty years ago. Frank sold that house when his father died and moved into his dad’s bungalow. Directly behind his father’s home there was an orchard. Frank cleared the orchard and some old outbuildings, and got planning permission to build a large garage with an adjoining workshop. This was designed and constructed so that it would comply with the rules for a residential building, with the aim of one day converting the garage/workshop. That work is currently underway. A new smaller garage has been completed and the former garage/workshop extended and altered internally. The roof is now complete, windows were being fitted last week, and under-floor heating has been installed.

A great deal of planning has gone into Frank’s new home over a number of years. There has been wise financial planning, and much forethought on many levels, including the need to comply with past and present building regulations. Without this level of planning Frank would not have been able to build his new house.

Thinking about this proverb and the way that Frank has planned reminds me of another carpenter, and the amount of prior planning and preparation that preceded His arrival in the world 2,000 years ago. God didn’t just have a bright idea one day in Heaven. He planned for His Son to visit our planet in human form before He created the Universe. Furthermore, God’s attention to even the smallest detail meant that He planned the writing of this Proverbial Thought and He knew who would read it. I find that absolutely mind blowing. Having planned and prepared God then built His house. Jesus told us that it has many rooms; and that there is a room in His Father’s house for each of us. It gets better. Jesus paid the rent up front, in full.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:1-4 NIV)

Ready and Willing

Proverbs 31:17

17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. (KJV)
17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. (NIV)

Not Lazy and Ready

As we continue looking at the noble wife (or any woman, really), we see that she is not lazy.

She girdeth her loins with strength …” or “She sets about her work vigorously …I”
She prepares herself for what she must do each day, and she does not wait to get started.

… and strengtheneth her arms” or “her arms are strong for her tasks.
She can do what she needs to do because she has prepared herself. She is ready for surprises because she can handle them.

It takes a level of excitement and a lot of love to prepare yourself and take care of your family and friends. This is the crux of the matter.

Ready and Willing

Jesus prepared the way for His Bride to succeed, as well. Through His ministry, death, and resurrection, Jesus set the stage for the Church with love and a level of excitement.

As the Church, we must make sure we are prepared and strong. This takes regular time reading the Bible, in prayer, and talking with our brothers and sisters in Christ. This opens our hearts and minds to the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ in us, to fulfill our tasks and be ready for anything.

May our love for Christ compel us to be prepared and strong. Then we are better prepared for and stronger in our other relationships, including as husband and wife.

Great Lord and Loving Friend, thank You for preparing and strengthening us. Help us to trust in Your wisdom and strength, and may we continually seek more strength and wisdom.


Prior Planning and Preparation

Proverbs 24:27 

Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.
Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house. (NIV)

photoA very good friend of mine is building his retirement home at the moment. I have to admit that Frank has certain advantages as a trained carpenter who has worked in construction all his life. He also has experience, having built his first house forty years ago. Frank sold that house when his father died and moved into his dad’s bungalow. Directly behind his father’s home there was an orchard. Frank cleared the orchard and some old outbuildings, and got planning permission to build a large garage with an adjoining workshop. This was designed and constructed so that it would comply with the rules for a residential building, with the aim of one day converting the garage/workshop. That work is currently underway. A new smaller garage has been completed and the former garage/workshop extended and altered internally. The roof is now complete, windows were being fitted last week, and under-floor heating has been installed.

A great deal of planning has gone into Frank’s new home over a number of years. There has been wise financial planning, and much forethought on many levels, including the need to comply with past and present building regulations. Without this level of planning Frank would not have been able to build his new house.

Thinking about this proverb and the way that Frank has planned reminds me of another carpenter, and the amount of prior planning and preparation that preceded His arrival in the world 2,000 years ago. God didn’t just have a bright idea one day in Heaven. He planned for His Son to visit our planet in human form before He created the Universe. Furthermore, God’s attention to even the smallest detail meant that He planned the writing of this Proverbial Thought and He knew who would read it. I find that absolutely mind blowing. Having planned and prepared God then built His house. Jesus told us that it has many rooms; and that there is a room in His Father’s house for each of us. It gets better. Jesus paid the rent up front, in full.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:1-4 NIV)